Sooo frustrated!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Sooo frustrated!!
4
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 7:50pm
I do not know if I am more frustrated with my dd, myself or her so-called friends.

Several months ago I posted about an incident w/ my always perfect dd - when I took she and three girlfriends to the beach, they met up w/ some guys and got intoxicated. This got back to their school and they suffered a lot of abuse because of it, in particular my dd. Her b/f broke up with her and she just suffered a lot of abuse for the next 6 weeks. However, I kept telling her to hold her head high, maintain her dignity, etc and things would eventualy change. Fortunately they did, she won back friends, respect and her b/f.

It has not all been smooth sailing, and she faltered again - but everything worked out.

Right now I am very angry and frustrated over the way her so-called 'good' friends have treated. In particular this one girl (M) - who went on the beach trip w/ us and misbehaved -but did not drink.

We recently had homecoming. My dd's b/f of now one year, wanted to take her out alone the night of homecoming dance - to dinner - then meet up with everyone else at the dance. Instead of all (about 20 kids) going to dinner together. He wanted to do this while they were dressed up - take her somewhere really nice, to celebrate their anniversary, homecoming and her 16th b/d. He could not afford to to somewhere nice like that 3 times in one month. (Also - the b/f finds these friends to be a little annoying sometimes). DD was undecided about what to do - but eventulay decided to go along w/ the b/f plan. Her friend M got very upset. Saying things like she was choosing her b/f over her friends, etc. Then just really treating her badly - sometimes ignoring her, sometimes other stuff (I won't go into - too long). At first I was ok with just dd and the b/f doing their thing and thought the g/f was being a little selfish. Then after listening to my dh and my mom thought maybe they were right - this being homecoming they should go with all their friends. Anyway - dd then told M she and b/f would go w/ them - although b/f was really not happy about it. M's response was something along the lines of irritated and like she was not sure they would have enough room for them but bottom line they ended up going together.

M was horrible to dd most of the night. Either ignoring her or just being rude. Also I heard M's date was horrible to M - but dd explained later to me that it was actually M's fault. M got really mad when another girl who went w/ them said she was cold and M's date offered her his jacket. M's date then starting saying how he was not even going to go to the dance. M got upset and called her mom to come and get her. But - that did not happen. I learned of this when talking to M's mom late that evening and that M's date was being really mean to M. This was not hard to believe because he had been mean to her before. DD says he has spit on her and called her a b****.

Sorry - got a little sidetracked. But the worst thing I think M has ever done to dd was what she did when the girls spent the night at m's house after the dance. Some of the girls (in secret) put claims on where they were sleeping. OK - kid stuff no big deal. DD ended up stuck on the floor which is a hardwood floor by the way. So - she proceeded to make herself a bed on the floor with 3 blankets. There were 2 other girls sleeping on the floor and the regular group that dd hangs with were sleeping either in beds, on a sofa or in a recliner. M came to dd and told her she needed to give them some of the blankets dd had b/c they were cold. Dd explained all she had to sleep on was these 3 blankets - but M made a big scene, saying it was her house and that dd did not have to spend the night. (this took place at 3AM). In frustration dd threw 2 of the blankets at M and as I understand it, they took her pillow too. She slept on one blanket on a hardwood floor. Later the next day she got in an argument w/ M. DD did as I had suggested and told M that she (DD) would have never treated M or any guest in her home that way. And several nights before when a group had spent the night at our house dd and I had made sure that everyone - including those sleeping on the floor - had sleeping bags, pillows, etc.

I was so unbelievably angry when I heard this it was all I could do to stop myself from calling the mom and M and letting M have it! But out of respect for my dd I reframed. I was also angry at my dd that she let his happen. I told her she should have called me to come and get her. She said she had started to.

When M continues to beahve badly in barely noticable ways treat dd poorly. Either by ignoring her or being deceitful and manipulative. So do 2 of the other girls although they are much more cool b/c one girl who in particular is perceived as sooo sweet can never have her reputation tarnished. Yet she will quietly stir up trouble.

It all makes me so angry b/c these girls have parents, teachers and other kids so fooled. They and their families are like the pillars of the high school.

It seems that this treatment really started when dd and one of the nicer girls (L) did some things together - nothing big - and M and one of the other girls (J) got upset - especially J. L and J were very good friends. J started saying that L and my dd were ignoring them, always doing stuff by themselves,etc. Bottom line is J was afraid she was losing her closest friend to dd and she was probably afraid she was losing control over L. Well this just continued to get worse. Then M invites J on an outing and does not invite dd and L. But M&J continue to say L&DD ignore them. I just cannot tell you how untrue it is. It all boils down to J being afraid she is going to lose her primadonna role in the group.

Last night after the game - they all cheer - they were going to Taco Mac. DD chose not to go - saying she was not hungry - but I knew she was just trying to avoid another unpleasant situation. Then today L called dd and asked her to go to the mall with all of them (was to be 6 girls). then later M or J or E one called back and said E's mom was not able to take that many girls and dd and L were not able to go. Then J calls dd and asks if she will take her place in what she needed to do for the game that night (something squad members take turns on) b/c she was not going to be back from the mall in time. DD agreed to do it. I was sooo mad at dd. Why did she agree to this?!? I finally talked her into calling these girls back and telling them she could not b/c I was taking her somewhere. M got an attitude and said why did she not tell them b/4 b/c they were not going to be back in time and they had already called the coach and told her of the switch. Reality was they still had 1.5 hours and plenty of time to get back. Anyway - dd did it. Ohh - this makes me so mad!

What do I say to dd? Do I say anything to any of the parents. I know I should not say anything to the parents - this will just make things worse for dd. I want so much though for others to wake up and see what these kids are really like. Yet they are giving every leadership role in the school and win every popularity contest. And they are sooo horrible. What is this teaching dd - what is it teaching any of the kids about proper behaviour. To me it is saying if you behave badly you get the things you want and recognized as a 'leader.' I so want to take dd out of this school. I know the problem is not isolated to our school - but would just like to get her started again with a new group of friends and new environment.

I spoke to a counselor that works with teens and she even suggested changing schools. It is not easy to do that here though unless you move. She also suggested bringing dd in for counseling to help her learn to be more assertitive about standing up for herself. I suggested this to dd and she said she did not need counselin. Which was the response I expected. I know the typical response or advise would be to choose other friends - it is not that easy here where most other kids are doing drugs and when this little group seems to have so much control over the school. Please - help before I do something I should not because right now I am ready to explode.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: nccmom
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 9:59pm
nccmom, I remember your dd's situation well.

No, don't call the parents. Take it from me - even if you could PROVE this was happening, they - for the most part - will not hear you. My dd went thru the most unreal situation at the end of gr 9 that two of the most prominent parents got completely sucked in by. To this day, my motto is: "know the KIDS; because what the kids are into IS what is going to be what is going on irregardless of the parents and whether or not they are present'; and the other one is, 'those kids know their parents better than their parents know them'. I had PROOF - from POLICE no less, AND one of the boys they all knew as to what really had happened at the last nightmare fiasco. I DID choose to tell the two parents I thought would WANT to know, and the response I got was that they flat out did not believe it. Why? I wracked my brains for months trying to come up with why they would choose to believe the lie over the truth, when the truth was better than the lie, and the only answer I could come up with, that fit all the other facts going on, was that they *needed* to believe that (a) their kid wouldn't voluntarily have anything to do with such a situation and (b) they needed to preserve their image of being 'in the know' (the parent, I mean) and not fooled by their kids or their kids' friends. Not to mention that yes, it would definitely make this worse for your dd if you intervene right now, ESP at age 16.

I totally understand how you feel. At least your dd still HAS friends. My dd had one girl, like this M in your dd's life, who was just her arch nemesis from gr 5 thru 9. It was unrelenting though throughout those 5 years. Then she managed to finally pull off this last coup and my dd was left without anyone. I lost sleep for 4 months, my blood pressure literally rocketed and all I could do was fume over the situation and feel totally incapable of doing anything to help.

From this experience, ncc, I'm going to caution you in a couple of things. For one thing, I wouldn't go getting *angry* at your dd. She is still showing herself to be a person of her word; she is not allowing M and J's behaviours towards her to make her feel she has to be like them or go along with them in order to make them happy. Yes, she's opted to do a few things to help keep the peace, but not at a cost of her own self esteem. We will ALL do SOME things in our lives, even as adults, to keep the peace in situations that ultimately are not worth, in our opinions, TO create a blowout over, right? There's nothing wrong in your dd doing that in little ways. Yes, it's majorly annoying that they didn't let her go with them to the mall b/c of lack of space and then calling and asking her to fill in for them b/c they didn't want to bother with the game. But look at your dd - SHE did the *right* thing, ncc. She filled in. It is your dd who will feel like she has done a good thing, and it is your dd that the coach will view in a good light. It didn't *hurt* her or compromise her values or compromise her self esteem to do this, did it? Instead, i am willing to bet that it is such actions that she does that BUILD her self esteem in the end. Instead, try to roll your eyes, hug your dd and say something like, 'man, I hope one day those girls GET just what a great person you are", and leave it at that.

I wanted to call every parent, ncc. I wanted to call every KID. Man, I knew so much about every one of those girls that I could have gotten them all sent away to nunneries for the rest of their lives had I decided to open my mouth - and those girls KNEW that I could, b/c what I knew CAME from them. I had endless 'arguments' in my mind and confrontations.

What did it all boil down to? It was not within my power to change or control the behaviour of the so-called popular crowd (and for some reason, this is prevalent in the 'popular group'; they are the MOST controlling, most manipulative, most likely to experiment with drugs and sex and drinking; most MEAN). I don't blame your dd's bf for not wanting to go to dinner with them; most guys who have a good head on their shoulders see this for what it is, and despise it, and prefer their gf not be a part of it.

I agree with your dd still, I'm sorry. I do not believe she needs counselling. SHE is still handling this ... it sounds more like it is *you* who is not handling this. SHE is still holding her head high, choosing to do what she believes is right even if it means the others think they've 'gotten away' with something - b/c what exactly have they gotten away with? If they're thinking, hahaha first we ditched her, now we even have her covering for us - is that the truth? IS that hor your DAUGHTER is viewing this? NO. She KNOWS what they are like and what they are doing; she is just not letting them get the better of her. SHe is not grovelling or sitting at home alone day after day just waiting for them to accept her. She just keeps going along, being a good person, a good friend and handling these snotty girls in her own way, which is working for HER. It's not getting her what you wish it would - you, like all moms, and believe me, I UNDERSTAND THIS - you want those girls to look at your dd with respect, and want to emulate her and be fair to her. I'm telling you - they are not going to do this whether she 'stands up to them' and tells them off or refuses to do anything with or for them or anything else - because that is not *THEIR* nature. They give your dd a hard time likely because they know that they canNOT manipulate and control her. More power to her.

You need to try to let this go ... you need to just focus on your dd and see what a really amazing young woman she is growing into becoming and forget the other stupid girls. I KNOW - easier - much much easier said - than done ... but if you do work on shifting your focus this way, you will see her in a clearer light. Right now your reactions to things are being fuelled by the OTHERS' behaviour towards your dd, not on *who* your dd is, separate and apart from M and J in particular. You're seeing her as you *think* THEY are seeing her - and how they view her is ALSO not realistic; it's colored by jealousy and sheer aggravation that they cannot make her be anything she doesn't choose HERSELF to be or to do. She is NOT learning that acting the ways those girls are actin gis the way to go. They have not influenced her to become like them at all (which is likely at the root of their problem with your dd).

My dd was faced with a whole lot worse situation, ncc ... and yet it never influenced her to believe that that was the way to go. Eventually, she went thru a period of time where I recall her shouting to me one night that she used to have a 'loving and forgiving heart but NOT ANY MORE MOM!! Because I keep on forgiving and letting things go and things just KEEP ON HAPPENING ANYWAY!" ----- which broke my heart for her, more than anything else had done to that point. I was so concerned she WOULD then start to think standing up for what she thought was right in the WAYS *SHE* could handle them (not the ways *I* wanted her to handle them that would make ME feel better - I learned to differentiate this eventually) was not working and that she'd change - but she never did.

Hang in there. Hang onto your inherent trust of the integrity of YOUR DAUGHTER - and try to shake off the lack of integrity of those she has to deal with. Don't try to make her do things the way *you* think she should handle them EITHER - in a way, that's a little bit like what she's already having to deal with from M & J - others' expectations of her, rather than just letting her be herself and finding that being herself is more than acceptable. Yes, she's made mistakes. Yes, she's done some things for wahtever reason. But in the end ... she is who has to live with any outcome or fallout from the kids she has to deal with, no one else, including you ... so the more you can just concentrate on *her*, and empowering her to believe she CAN and IS handling this the best way she knows how, in any given moment, the more your focus will shift with it and free you from feeling the way that you ...

HUGS.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
In reply to: nccmom
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 8:41am
ncc, kkiana has some really good views on things, and I think she hit the nail on the head. It's really sad what HS girls can do to each other, and treat each other the way they do. I think your reactions are very normal, it's mom's first instinct to protect her kids and fight to do it if necessary, but it sounds like your dd has a good head on her shoulders and a kind heart and will make the right decision in the long run. Keep supporting her to do what is *right* even if it looks like the queen bee and her hive are coming out ahead. In the long run, it will be your dd who looks good to the coaches and teachers, and in the game of life, *she* will be the one who will be able to hold her head high. DD needs to stick with her own morals and values, and be the kind person she is, and let the other girls say what they may...for her own self esteem. I know it's hard, but if she stoops to their tactics, she may end up feeling worse about herself in the future than she does about them now.Our DS S had a very conservative Christian g/f until about 6 weeks ago. She was part of the popular crowd, cheerleader, homecoming court, etc., while he was not. His group of friends tended to be the "down home" kind of guys, all the kind that head for construction or mechanical trades, while her group of friends are all now heading for things like accounting, pre-med, etc. Her friends always saw him as not good enough for her and did many things to break them up, but the kicker was when her "best friend" started going around the school calling C "the holy virgin mother" because she had a strong belief that premarital sex was wrong, and calling s "too cockless to do anything about it" - I find all about it from my other DS J who is the same age as S and C. This caused a lot of heartache for C, and S too I suppose, though he never said anything about all of this to me...what I know is from J who was pretty worried about S at the time - I guess it was pretty bad in the halls at school. Well, just before graduation, C and her "best friend" P become "buds" again, and supposedly put all that behind them - except P keeps setting things up for C and S to spend the night together with her and her b/f at his apt. or at a trip they took together to an amusement park 3 hours away. Now C *knew* these things were pushing right up against her morals and values at the very best, and so did S, but they went along with it anyway, because I believe, C didn't have the backbone to stand up to P. Anyway, somewhere along the line, I believe the inevitable happened, not that anyone came right out and told me so, but because C became real tearful and kept saying "I've done something that God will never forgive" and there got to be a whole lot of tension between S and C, and 6 weeks ago she broke up with him because he "wasn't a good enough Christian for her". They went through some really rough times along the way, and C was so very down and out - I believe because she compromised her values to go along with P. And the kicker is that now P has been having the attitude that "see, I told you guys C wasn't as holy as she wanted us all to believe." And still making trouble for C, even though they aren't in HS anymore, causing her a lot of heartbreak.The point of this whole story? Your DD needs to stick with what SHE knows is right, and behave in ways that SHE can live with, regardless of what her so-called friends do, because at the end of the day, she has to live with herself, and be able to look at herself in the mirror and be proud of who she is. If she lowers herself to the level of M and J, I don't think she'll be happy with herself. (((hugs to both of you!!)))

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
In reply to: nccmom
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 8:46pm
Ouch!! This is such a tough age anyway. But to have to go through all of this must be hard for both you and your daughter.

I'm sure everyone can give lots of good advise, but I think if we all stop to consider the definition of "friend", no advise is really needed. M is not a friend, and your daughter needs to step back, consider her world (which is, after all, home and school) and make an effort to make new friends. M is an emotionally abusive person. Think about it. We all know emotionally abusive adults. They have to come from somewhere. M is not going to change. It's way past time to lose M, and any friends who "pick" her over your daughter. Maybe it's time to join an after school club/play/sports. There are lots of ways to meet new kids at her age. (maybe even a job)

best of luck!!

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: nccmom
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 9:46pm
I think that your dd is handling all of this well. I recommend that you, Mom, take a step back from it. It doesn't seem like your dd is coming to you complaining or asking you to run interference or to help her. I know that it is hard as a parent not to try to "fix" things when our kids have problems, but your dd is learning a lot about herself, her resilience and integrity, and about other people.

IMO you can help her best by being supportive and lending a neutral ear to LISTEN if she wants to talk or vent. Resist the urge to give advice unless she begs for it. Instead tell her that you trust her ability to do the right thing.

Discuss with her the traits that SHE looks for and appreciates in a friend. You don't need to tell her if M or the others don't exhibit those traits, she will see it for herself when she is ready.

Encourage your dd to continue to "take the high road" in these dealings, even if you think she is being taken advantage of. Parents should take the high road too, even when it is frustrating. She will learn from you. If you say unkind things about the other kids you are stooping to their level, and if she gets tight with them again she may resent your comments about them. It sounds like your advice to her last spring worked so you should probably stick with it now also.

As for the counseling, you can just leave it there as an offer if she ever feels that she wants someone objective to talk to, or to give her suggestions on how to deal with all of these issues.

Your dd really is in a difficult spot. There seems to be only one group of kids that are "acceptable" companions in her school/your town. The other group are the ones that she got into trouble with last spring, right? Until your dd can find some other kids that she likes and you approve of, or she is willing to be a loner, she pretty much has to "make nice" with the current group. As for the "other kids" doing drugs, this group could be doing them too and the parents haven't figured it out yet. What does your dd think about changing schools? While you are right that they all have cliques they would be different cliques and she could feel like she was starting over.

As you already heard, talking to the other kids' parents won't do much good and could make things worse. I think that venting to us is the safest thing to do!

I think that most of us who have daughters have been through this stuff at some point. Most female groups have a queen bee.

Good luck nccmom, I know how hard it is to watch your kid have problems. She sounds like a strong young woman who will come out fine at the end.